Hobbies-R-Us

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Review: Xezo Air Commando GMT Automatic

Posted by Rennaisance Man

Xezo Air Commando GMT Automatic

Summary:
  • Limited edition of 500
  • 43 mm diameter
  • 54 mm length lug-to-lug
  • 12 mm thick
  • 22 mm wide X 3.5mm thick solid screw link stainless steel band
  • 180 grams
  • ETA 2893-2 21 jewel 28,800 bph auto GMT movement
  • Stainless steel case, crowns, bezel and back
  • Sapphire crystal with date cyclops and underside AR coating
  • Sapphire display back
  • Signed screwdown crowns and band clasp
  • 200m water resistance depth rating
  • 60 minute rotating bezel
  • 12 hour internal rotating ring
  • 24-hour GMT chapter ring
Xezo is little known brand based out of Sugarland, Texas. They are technically a "Private Label" and have the watches they design made for them by an "Assemblage" firm in Switzerland. They also sell pens (much like Mont Blanc sells pens and watches), briefcases, and sunglasses. It's a brand name of mens' accessories.

Their watch line, all made in Switzerland with Swiss ETA movements under the Xezo brand label is first rate, using excellent materials, and spanning a variety of styles. ETA is part of The Swatch Group and is now the largest movement maker in Switzerland, having absorbed most of the major Swiss movement makers and rights to their movement designs when The Swatch Group was formed (including A.Schild, Unitas, and Valjoux). Most are battery powered quartz, but a few like the Air Commando are mechanical auto-wind. It's a numbered, limited edition of 500; the example depicted is #30.

The Air Commando is called a GMT because it has an additional complication (watch jargon for a time-keeping feature or function) that adds a fourth, 24-hour hand to the dial that rotates at half the rate of the normal hour hand. On this watch, the extra hand is colored red to distinguish it from the others. In addition to the large 12-hour arabic numeral indices for the normal hour hand, there are smaller 24-hour arabic indices for use with the fourth hand. This extra hand can be set separately, in one-hour increments, from the time displayed by the seconds, minute and (normal) hour hand. It allows setting the watch to a second time zone. Many set it to GMT (aka UTC), hence the watch's "GMT" classification, although it can be set to any time zone desired.

In addition to the 24-hour GMT complication, there are additional features designed into the watch to provide a traditional, early 20th Century aviation timing function. Before modern avionics and sophisticated navigation electronics were put into cockpits, pilots would plan long flights with "legs" and the time to be flown along each azimuth, or leg of the entire flight. The normal crown at the "3" is used to set time and the GMT hand. The second crown at the "10" turns a secondary 12-hour chapter ring inside the watch. These are designed to be used for timing up to 12 hours in hours and minutes. Align the zero index on the bezel with the minute hand by turning the bezel, and align the secondary 12-hour chapter ring "12" with the hour hand using the secondary crown, and lock it down. Elapsed time can now be read using the secondary chapter ring and bezel. The rotating chapter ring controlled by the second crown can also be set for a third time zone (read using the normal hour hand), giving it a secondary function.

Materials are first class. The case, crown and bezel are solid 316L stainless steel. The band is also of 316L stainless steel with solid, machined links (removable links have screw pins). Crystal is thick sapphire (aka corundum) and has an AR coating on its inside to reduce its reflectivity. The dial is silver with a deep engine turned guilloche sunburst pattern. Clasp is common "Z-fold" in style, heavy duty, with two side buttons to open it, and a flip-lock on top of it. Both crowns, the movement rotor and the band clasp are all "signed." Movement inside is the venerable 21 jewel, 28,800 bph ETA caliber 2893-2 GMT with Incabloc shock protection. Based on the 2892-2 with the GMT complication added to it, it's a movement usually found only in high end watches costing much, much more than the Xezo. The water resistance is rated at 200 meters (660 feet) depth, and is aided by both crowns being "screw-down." Out of the box new it's running about 10 seconds fast daily which is normal for a brand new mechanical movement. Should settle down in the equivalent of a few months of daily use as the pivots wear into their jeweled bearings, much like the "break-in" period for new automobile engines.

The Air Commando is a BIG watch: 43mm diameter (not including crown), 54mm from lug tip to lug tip, 12mm tall and a 22mm wide band. It can be worn on a smaller wrist quite comfortably, albeit it fills the wrist, and dimensions of case, crown, bezel and band are proportionate looking. Its size, solid steel materials and thick crystal make it a heavyweight as well, tipping the scales at 180 grams. There's no mistaking that it's on one's wrist when wearing it. In spite of its weight, the edges of the band and case have very slight beveling or radiusing, and it doesn't dig into the skin, nor does the solid link band grab and pull hairs on the arm (unlike wrapped and folded sheet metal bands). Overall execution of its design, fit and finish are quite excellent.

I'm surprised the Xezo Air Commando, also available with a black dial, hasn't seen greater popularity. As a numbered, limited edition, it's priced much lower than its contemporaries from the better known brands with the same movement and similar materials and quality!
Summary:
  • Limited edition of 500
  • 43 mm diameter
  • 54 mm length lug-to-lug
  • 12 mm thick
  • 22 mm wide X 3.5mm thick solid screw link stainless steel band
  • 180 grams
  • ETA 2893-2 21 jewel 28,800 bph auto GMT movement
  • Stainless steel case, crowns, bezel and back
  • Sapphire crystal with date cyclops and underside AR coating
  • Sapphire display back
  • Signed screwdown crowns and band clasp
  • 200m water resistance depth rating
  • 60 minute rotating bezel
  • 12 hour internal rotating ring
  • 24-hour GMT chapter ring
MSRP is currently $700 for either the black or silver dial versions. Look for "special offer" discounts that come and go on both.

Note: I have no affiliation with Xezo beyond being a customer that bought a watch from them.

11 comments:

Dustin said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
yyyyyyyeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh

:-)

Anonymous said...

THEY SUCK THEY DONT ANSWER THEIR PHONES EVER BECAREFUL YOU MAY GET RIPPED OFF

Anonymous said...

Got my Air Commando 4 weeks ago. Ordered from the website. Seems that the black face is sold out now.
I am amazed how accurate the movement is.
It keeps time +-4 secs per day! I wore it diving and playing golf. The only drawback
its a bit heavy for playing golf.

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased and received my Xezo Air Commando (non-GMT) and am very pleased with it. My only complaint is that the outer rotating bezel is a bit stiff, but I'm sure that over time and use, it will relax a bit.

The craftsmanship and feel are equal to my Rolex's, Breitling, and Tag-Heuer.

I don't work for or have any affiliation with Xezo and only learned of them from a full page advertisement is the National League NLCS Magazine.

I would recommend anyone who is looking for a true Swiss Made watch to consider a Xezo.

Anonymous said...

I called them today, they pick up quick and answer my question politely. I'm pretty happy with my watch as well.

Anonymous said...

I PURCHASED THIS IN THE BLACK FACE AND GOT #157 OF 500. I SAW THIS WATCH IN A MAGAZINE AND WAS HESITANT ABOUT ORDERING ONE BECAUSE I NEVER HEARD OF XEZO BUT WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE WATCH DESCRIPTION AND THE MOVEMENT. I HAVE HAD IT A COUPLE OF YEARS AND I AM EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH IT.

Anonymous said...

hello... do you still have your Xezo air commando? Do you still like it after years? Do you prefer silver or black version?

x-scrambler said...

Hi, I bought the silver version of D44 last May I think and I still love it. In fact, the watch grows to my heart daily. I must have seen 100s if not 1000s watches since then but I simply could not find a single one with all these features for the money, except in a few cases maybe, but these weren't nearly as beautiful as my D44. So I believe I will keep this watch for years and years. Go get one, you'll never regret it!

Anonymous said...

I HAVE THE D44 SILVER VERSION, NOT THE GMT, IT KEEPS GOOD TIME, I LOVE IT!

Anonymous said...

i have the black face 175/500 well over a year. keeps great time and gets lots of compliments. great buy

Unknown said...

xezo unite4evil

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